15 S3 Facts for S3’s 15th


To celebrate S3’s 15th birthday on 3/14/2021, and to kick off AWS Pi Week, I tweeted out 15 facts about S3.  Here they are as a blog post, to make them easier to read.  Because of the rapid pace of innovation in AWS services, including S3, so if you’re reading this in the future, some things may have changed.

1. S3 is designed for “eleven 9s” of durability. When you take into account redundancy in and across availability zones, in 10,000,000 years you’d lose only lose one of 10,000 objects. Read more at https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/new-amazon-s3-reduced-redundancy-storage-rrs/.

2. S3 is region-bound, which means all S3 buckets in that region are partying in the same publicly available cloud ether. You can restrict access to a VPC but the bucket is still located outside the VPC. Related: https://cloudonaut.io/does-your-vpc-endpoint-allow-access-to-half-of-the-internet/.

3. S3 is a very versatile storage service. The trillions of objects it stores are the basis for many workloads, including serving websites, video streaming and analytics.

4. The return of INI files! With a first byte latency of milliseconds, S3 is suitable for storing configuration settings in an available and inexpensive way. Databases are no longer a fixed cost and there is no need for one just for configuration.

5. S3 is designed for “infinite storage”. Each object can be up to 5TB in size, and there is no limit to the number of objects you can store in a bucket. Analytics aren’t constrained by a file or disk size. It’s like a TARDIS, or bag of holding!

6. How do you perform operations on hundreds, thousands or more objects? S3 Batch Operations allow you to copy objects, restore from Glacier, or even call a lambda for each file. For more information, see https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/new-amazon-s3-batch-operations/.

7. S3 is a “consumption model”, so you pay only for what you use when you use it. No more provisioning fixed-size network storage solutions with large up-front costs.

8. But what if you need massive object storage closer to your location? S3 on Outposts puts S3 on-premises, right where you collect or process your data. For more info, start at https://aws.amazon.com/s3/outposts/.

9. If your bandwidth is limited or non-existent, you can use Snowball Data Transfer to move TB to PB of data in and out of AWS. Learn more at https://aws.amazon.com/snowball/.

10. For data collection and object generation at the most extreme edges there is Snowball Edge Storage. Snowball Edge can even run processing workloads. Read more at https://docs.aws.amazon.com/snowball/latest/developer-guide/whatisedge.html.

11. Although you can upload files to S3 via the console, CLI and REST API, wouldn’t it be great if you could just drag a file to a network share and have it appear in the cloud? With a File Gateway, you can do exactly that! See https://aws.amazon.com/storagegateway/file/.

12. S3 offers multiple storage classes, so you can optimize cost, latency and retention period. Standard offers the lowest latency but at the highest cost, while Glacier Deep Archive is perfect for yearslong retention. Read more at https://aws.amazon.com/s3/storage-classes/.

13. S3 Storage Lens is a central dashboard organizations can use for insight into S3 utilization and to get recommendation to optimize price. Read more at https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/s3-storage-lens/.

14. S3 can version objects, so if you accidentally delete or profoundly update an object, you can recover from the most recent save or many prior versions, too.

15. S3 is a very secure service. IAM policies can be applied at the bucket and object level with a great deal of granularity. Additionally, VPC endpoints bind S3 traffic to a specific VPC only.

And one to grow on (for everyone): AWS recently released three new S3 training courses: https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/whats-new/2021/01/announcing-three-new-digital-courses-for-amazon-s3/.